I first heard about this blue, tart oblong berry last year, but I never got around to picking them. Fast forward to late June 2020, I had a free Sunday morning so I packed up the toddler, grabbed a large container and headed out to Farm Lola in Wrenshall.

We parked in a field, walked past the chickens (after saying “hi” to what seemed like every single one of them), then made our way to the berry patch. I had never tasted a honeyberry before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. A man explained to us the difference in taste between a few varieties, and we settled on whichever one my toddler would eat, which happened to be the ones that tasted like a tart blueberry with a lemony finish.

Honeyberries freshly picked and washed from Farm Lola in Wrenshall in late June. (Samantha Erkkila/serkkila@duluthnews.com)
Honeyberries freshly picked and washed from Farm Lola in Wrenshall in late June. (Samantha Erkkila/serkkila@duluthnews.com)

The picking was easy. The berries just fall off the bush when they are ripe. They also fall right into the mouth of a toddler.

The sun was getting hot, and my daughter was getting impatient, so we paid for our two pounds of berries, said bye to all the chickens and took our honeyberry haul home.

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I wasn’t sure what to do with them other than nibble on a handful here and there. After a few days, I froze them. Scrolling through Pinterest one night, I came across a recipe for honeyberry and pear crisp. I’m usually an apple crisp over apple pie kind of person, so this was right up my alley. The recipe was simple, and I already had all the ingredients at home, except pears.

A mixture of honeyberries, pears and sugar for the base layer of the dessert. (Samantha Erkkila/serkkila@duluthnews.com)
A mixture of honeyberries, pears and sugar for the base layer of the dessert. (Samantha Erkkila/serkkila@duluthnews.com)

After 45 minutes of baking, I knew I had landed on the perfect Pinterest find. No fail here.

The berry and pear mixture bubbled through the golden-brown oatmeal crust as I pulled it out of the oven. The smell of warm sugar and cinnamon filled our kitchen.

My toddler and I waited for it to cool for as long as we could stand it, which was about five minutes. Then we topped it with whipped cream and ate dessert before dinner.

COMING UP: Farm visitors can pick raspberries and blueberries in late July. Check farmlola.com for more information.